The Kandinsky Prize, Russia’s answer to the Turner Prize, has beenjointly won this year by two winners for the first time. Grisha Bruskin and collective AES+F, share 40,000 euros (£32,000) for a sculpture and a video installation. Bruskin’s sculpture the H-Hour is a study of hate, while Allegoria Sacra is the final instalment of a video trilogy covering Heaven, Hell and Purgatory. Dimitri Venkov won the 10,000 euro prize for artists under 35 years old.
The award was established in 2007 on Shalva Breus’ initiative, the publisher of the Artchronika magazine and the president of the eponymous foundation. We have followed a tradition of naming the award after a distinguished artist. Kandinsky is more than a painter, he is a symbol of novelty and a historical figure in our culture, his heritage has provided a solid foundation for cultural exchange in the world of art. The Kandinsky Prize objectives are: the support and development of Russian contemporary art and securing of its positions not only in Russia but also on the world stage.
The Kandinsky Prize fund is 50 thousand euros, which corresponds with international practice in the sphere of contemporary art prizes, such as the Turner Prize in the UK or the Marcel Duchamp Prize in France. Any Russian artist without exception may be the candidate for the Kandinsky Prize: the receipt of applications from the participants based on the principle of self-nomination. The winners are determined by an international jury, with the participation of the council of experts. Over the past five years the winners in the main nomination were: Anatoly Osmolovsky, Alexey Beliayev-Guintovt, Vadim Zakharov, Alexander Brodsky and Yriy Albert.
Aside from monetary compensation, artists receive an opportunity to participate in exibitions. The Prize wasn’t intended to be a one-time event, but a continual working process, including not only presentation of awards, but also shows in Moscow and abroad. The Kandinsky Prize nominees’ exhibitions are among the most significant events in Russian cultural life. In 2011 the Prize exhibition at the Central House of Artists in Moscow was attended by more than 35,000 people – an absolute record for one of the largest exhibition venues in Russia.The works of the finalists and the winners of the Kandinsky Prize were exhibited with a great success in Riga, Berlin and London.